Poor kid hadn’t had it easy. He’d had us for parents after all. Though I swear he made money on the side by saying, “If you give me a quarter, I’ll show you my parents.”
We’d moved him from Chicago, to Texas, to California, to Massachusetts, and now we were taking him back to Chicago right before he left for college in Washington, D. C. He knew Chicago well enough. He’d spent every Christmas and summer vacation here visiting his grandparents since he was four. Still he was being uprooted again. I expected a certain amount of misbehavior, a certain time of adjusting. Then too, there was the natural breaking away from the parents stuff, that and the moving, but I still wasn't prepared for the stuff that I got.
I had been in Chicago working and living, when my two men arrived the day after the movers. They drove crosscountry in separate cars, communicating by telephone, meeting at restaurants and hotels along the way. I think they knew they weren’t fit to be in the same space for long periods of time. Of course they didn’t share these glad tidings with me.
We were at the stage of young lion, old lion. There's only room in this town for one of us.
I found myself moved from a hotel existence to living in 1200 square feet with 2 introverts, both of them at DEFCON 5 ready. One of them would think and the other would shoot. Stress was high from the move. This fight for who ruled the pride raised it exponentially. I tried talking to each of them. Amazingly, both sounded sane. If only they were in the same reality. I had no words, no amount of explaining that could make that change.
One morning as I finished my coffee, I said to my husband, “Honey, you realize you and your son are in a Mexican standoff. There’s nothing I can do to make things change. You two have to fix it.”
“Yeah, I know”
I finished getting ready for work and picked up my briefcase, preparing to leave our 12th floor condo.
“ I promise I won’t throw him out the window today,” my son’s father said.
“That’s good,’ I said calmly. “What if you both make a pact and jump?”
It was just an idea.
—me strauss Letting me be